I’ve been toying for a while with the idea of buying a good quality leather jacket for riding. I’ve had two very cheap jackets in the past which would not have helped much in a crash. I have visited Hideout Leather when I was riding around on the advanced riding course and have always wanted to drop in again. Its one of those places where they offer you a cup of tea as soon as you step inside – which is a nice welcome. Can you imagine that in John Lewis or the Apple Store?
I had no intention of buying anything (honestly) and the small shop was crowded with large motorcyclists (mind you, everybody looks large in motorcycle kit – even me). After casually asking about Knox’s clever layered gear I realised that it was not for me and before I knew it I was trying on one of Hideout’s Touring jackets – size 40. It felt immediately tight but owner Kate assured me that this kind of protective kit actually needs to fit closely. (They describe themselves as ‘experts on fit’ and I wondered about all the other kit I had bought without any of that kind of advice.) The penny dropped so that we both realised my falling-down-sloppy leather trousers would be hopeless in terms of protection. The knee armour is half way down my shins. So with back armour also fitted to the jacket I was fishing for my debit card before I knew it, wondering whether to throw out my collection of old jackets.
Their unimaginatively named ‘Touring’ jacket is short (apparently its long) and sturdy. Needless to say it looks incredibly well made and will – I hate to say it – probably easily see me out.
I’m looking forward to riding in it. I wonder how it copes with rain.
As usual I got lost on the way to the shop, my GPS, like an irritating passenger seemed to tell me to turn just as I was sailing past a couple of junctions so it was a circuitous route down single track roads to get there – but a nice ride on a dry but overcast day.